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Oil and gas firms could face fresh legal action by activist groups

Oil and gas firms could face fresh legal action by activist groups as investors demand stock market-listed firms align with Paris climate goals

Major oil and gas firms including BP and Shell could face fresh legal action by activist groups as investors demand stock market-listed firms align with Paris climate goals.

The wave of potential lawsuits could also target Chevron and Exxon and other heavy industry majors such as Ineos, the petrochemicals giant controlled by billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, and biomass power firm Drax.

Amsterdam-based environmental group Fossielvrij NL has told The Mail on Sunday it is preparing to sue ABP – the Dutch Government’s giant pension fund and one of the world’s largest pension investors – to force it to sell its stakes in fossil fuel companies.

That follows court action by Friends of the Earth Netherlands, which won a landmark legal battle against Shell in The Hague last month, and said it is looking to target other major fossil fuel companies, focusing on Dutch firms.

Environmental group ClientEarth also told the MoS it is exploring legal action to potentially challenge energy companies that ‘greenwash’ their climate change claims. ClientEarth lawyer Johnny White called the Shell case – where the court ordered the firm to cut carbon emissions by 45 per cent by the end of 2035 compared to 2019 levels – a ‘game-changer for climate litigation’. He said: ‘Given this result, we can expect further legal challenges to fossil fuel companies that refuse to meaningfully transition their businesses with the urgency needed.’

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